Sticky fingers

How to remove glue on nails—your quick and easy guide

Read on to learn how to remove glue on nails without any hassle. Removing super glue from acrylic nails is easy with just a few household items and the instructions below.

How to remove glue on nails 

Super glue will bond to almost any type of material and is incredibly strong. It can also be used to glue on acrylic nails – which in turn will lead you to wonder how to remove glue from nails.

Fortunately, there are several simple ways to remove glue from nails, and none of them are complicated or require expensive materials.

The first thing to try is using soap and water. Another way is to use nail polish remover or acetone to remove the acrylic fingernails. Finally, we’ll give you a tip to remove super glue in stubborn situations, whether it’s on your nails or almost any other surface.

How to remove super glue from acrylic nails 

Before using chemicals, you may want to try hot soapy water to get glue off acrylic nails. Here is a simple way to do it:

  1. Fill a bowl with warm water and add a bit of dish soap.
  2. Soak your fingers in the soapy water for several minutes to soften the glue.
  3. Gently pry the acrylic nails off. Look for a small corner or area where the nail has become loose and begin at that spot.
  4. Once the acrylic nails are off, use a nail buffer or stiff brush to remove the remaining glue residue.
  5. If any glue remains, use some acetone on a cotton ball to remove it.
  6. Wash with soap and water.

As an alternative, you can use nail polish remover (acetone) to remove glue from nails. 

  1. Rub some lotion or petroleum jelly on the skin around each fingernail.
  2. Dip a cotton ball in acetone and wrap it around the nail on each finger of one hand, securing it with foil or plastic wrap to hold it in place. 
  3. Allow the acetone to loosen the glue on the nails of one hand for about 15–20 minutes.
  4. Remove the foil and cotton balls, and you should find that the acrylic nails slide or easily peel off.
  5. Buff away any excess glue with a nail file.
  6. Wash in soap and water and use your favourite moisturiser to prevent dry skin.
  7. Repeat the process for the other hand.

Here are some safety tips to follow when using super glue.

  • It’s best not to get super glue on your hands or skin. We suggest wearing disposable safety gloves. 
  • Wear safety glasses when working overhead or if there is any danger of the super glue getting into your eyes.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area.

How to get super glue off nails and fingers

While doing repairs, you may accidentally get some super glue on your fingers or fingernails. No worries, follow the procedure below to remove it without harming your skin.

  1. The sooner you begin removing the super glue, the better. It’s best to catch it before it sets.
  2. Immediately put the affected area under warm running water. Using soap, try to separate your fingers and wash away the glue. 
  3. If, after several minutes, this isn’t working the glue has already started to set. Dab a bit of acetone on the area and allow it to soften the adhesive. The acetone may need to be in contact with the super glue for a few minutes to start working.
  4. As the glue softens, gently try to pry the bonded skin apart. Go slowly, and never try to pull your fingers apart suddenly.
  5. Another aid is to use a dull blade to help separate the bonded skin. The back edge of a butter knife or the edge of a fork may work well. 
  6. Once your fingers are apart, remove any residue with acetone or citrus hand cleaner.
  7. Wash the area with soap and water.

Another way to handle the situation is to use a professional-strength glue remover.

  1. Apply glue remover to the bonded area and allow it to soften the glue. This may take several minutes.
  2. Gently peel the bonded skin apart. (Note points #4 and 5 above.)
  3. Wash the area with soapy water.

Using super glue with a precision dispenser will help you to avoid this mishap in the future. Loctite Super Glue Control is a great choice. The easy-grip bottle allows you to place the adhesive exactly where you want it, avoiding drips and runs. Loctite super glue dries in seconds to form a long-lasting, invisible bond. It’s temperature, water, and shock resistant to hold up to almost any conditions.